Arm exercises

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In this shoulder strengthening exercise the child lifts and lowers a plastic water bottle filled with water or marbles. 

The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen the trunk, neck and shoulder muscles. 

Holding bottle on table_1.jpg Big bottle top of head_1.jpgBig bottle above head.jpg

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Learning to juggle with flower sticks is good for strengthening the arms as well as training attention and coordination. 

This is a great exercise for training arms strength and endurance. The neck,back and tummy muscles also have to work really hard to hold the head and trunk steady. The ankle muscles have to work to maintain balance.

In these exercises the child lies prone on an exercise ball supporting on the arms. Moving forwards and bouncing on the ball are good ways to strengthen the trunk and arm muscles. 

These exercises are suitable for children from about the age of 6 years. You will have to help the child to maintain balance when first practicing the exercises. 

You will need:  

a 45-55cm diameter gym ball.  

In this exercise the child holds a stick with two hands at chest height and uses it to intercept and push away a 45 cm gym ball. Children really love this exercise and get very enthusiastic about increasing the number of times they can push the ball away.

Children who are said to have "low muscle tone"and joint hypermobility often have difficulty taking weight on their arms. There are two reasons for this, both of which can be easily remedied. 

In these exercises the child stands on the hands and knees and lifts one or more limbs level with the back while keeping the back flat. keeping the back flat requires activation of the abdominal muscles to stabilize the position of the pelvis.  

It is also important to keep the elbows slightly bent to prevent locking of the elbows into hyperextension. Keeping the elbows slightly bent also activates the shoulder muscles to stabilize the shoulder blade. 

By the age of 6-7  years a child should be able to bend the elbows and lower the head to the floor when standing on hands and knees 5 times  with good control.

Successful ball catching always starts with a prediction: careful observation of the person throwing the ball allows one to predict the flight of the ball. The movement brain uses this information to make a judgment about the best position in space to intercept the ball and then plans the arm movements to be ready to catch the ball at the right place and at the right time. 

In this activities the child practices holding  a bat horizontal while balancing one or more beanbags, a plastic bottle or a ball  on the head of the bat. Moving the hand in different directions while holding the head of the bat horizontal  creates several different challenges. 

In these activities the child practices balancing a beanbag on the end of a stick while at the same time lifting the hand up and forwards.